Santa Teresita parish church, Guadalajara

Santa Teresita parish church, Guadalajara

What happens when the village street bazaar goes urban?  In Guadalajara the answer is ‘the Santa Teresita street market’… a tianguis.

There’s certainly no lack of ‘big box’ grocers in Guadalajara, and permanent market bazaars like the city’s Mercado Libertad serve up a homogenized version of weekly street markets throughout the week… but there’s nothing like the real deal!

Mother & child, Santa Teresita market, Guadalajara

Mother & child, Santa Teresita market, Guadalajara

 

Located on the city’s near north side at the intersection of Pedro Buzeta y Ramos Millán (about halfway between the Avenidas Del Federalismo and De Las Americas), the market takes its name from the parish church of the same name that sits at its center like a grand dame surrounded by her court.

The scope of this place is staggering.  Streets are blocked off and merchants pitch tents, set up tables, or spread merchandise on blankets curbside for something like 20 square blocks.  Market stalls crowd the church so closely that they seemed poised to climb its steps.

Young couple, Santa Teresita market, Guadalajara

Young couple, Santa Teresita market, Guadalajara

As I stand here on a Sunday morning it almost defies belief to realize that cars plied these streets on Friday afternoon, and will again come Monday morning; this entire market is a moveable feast.

This is a working class neighborhood market, short on art and crafts and long on staples from fresh produce and kitchen utensils to baby diapers and DVD’s.

This market affords a great opportunity to see a cross-section of urban Mexico in its own element; tourists are rare within the throngs threading their way along the narrowed streets.

Bicycle bakery, Santa Teresita market, Guadalajara

Bicycle bakery, Santa Teresita market, Guadalajara

There’s an energy level here that’s harder to find in the country markets.  Porters carry merchandise on their shoulders through the crowds or wheel them about on hand trucks and other makeshift contraptions.

A giant tray of pastries edges past me waist-high, propelled by a man on a three-wheeled bicycle.

Clothes on wheels, Santa Teresita market, Guadalajara

Clothes on wheels, Santa Teresita market, Guadalajara

A woman pushes a cart full of hangered clothing down the lane toward her stall, and for a moment the same image from long ago in Manhattan’s garment district comes to mind.

A vendor fishes a freshly fried churro from sizzling hot oil. When eaten fresh out of the fryer these are so good that you can skip the dusting of sugar or cinnamon!

Hot churros, Santa Teresita market, Guadalajara

Hot churros, Santa Teresita market, Guadalajara

A tejuino vendor of blends a thick mixture of boiled masa, water and piloncillo sugar with freshly squeezed jugo de limón, salt, water, ice, and adds a big scoop of lemon sherbet. The refreshing drink is as native to Jalisco as its famous birria goat stew.

Tejuino vendor, Santa Teresita market, Guadalajara

Tejuino vendor, Santa Teresita market, Guadalajara

For me this market is far more about urban culture than shopping, so I extend the experience by arriving and leaving on foot, making my way through city neighborhoods on this mellow Sunday afternoon.

Santa Teresita may be a destination in its own right, but it fits well into a larger Guadalajara Sunday afternoon itinerary.

If you’re not shopped out by Santa Teresita, drop in on Guadalajara’s nearby Sunday antique street market for a totally different street shopping experience.

The Santa Teresita market is also healthy walk or short taxi ride from the Centro Historico, or to the Avenida Vallarta’s Sunday promenade, which is as worthwhile a sidewalk cafe sight as an urban walk.

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